Allan was born on 27th September 1895 and attended Ilford County High School between 16th September 1907 and 7th November 1911. Previously, he had been a pupil at Chadwell Elementary School, Chadwell Heath, Dagenham. He passed both the Oxford Junior and Senior Local examinations along with Intermediate French. When he left the school, he became a clerk for the Port of London Authority.
His family lived in Oak Villa, Whalebone Grove, Chadwell Heath which meant that he had one of the longest journeys to school amongst his peers. His father, Arthur, worked as a chef in the Great Eastern Railway Hotel.
Allan is recorded on the first Roll of Honour (in the Christmas 1914 school magazine). It gives his regiments as the Royal Fusiliers. In the Christmas 1915 edition of the school magazine, the following was included;
‘Worrying news has reached us about Alan Houliston, 12th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. Wounded early in the fierce September battle, he was being assisted by a sergeant when the latter was himself badly hit. The sergeant is in an English hospital, but nothing whatever has been heard of Alan. Unfortunately, there are no other O.P.’s in the Battalion.’
(O.P. in the letter refers to ‘Old Parkonian’ which is the name of the School’s Old Boy’s association).
According to the CWGC website, Allan was serving as a Lance Corporal with the 12th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers when he died, aged 20, on 27th September 1915. His service number was 5336. By the time of his death, his father had died and his mother, Eleanor, was still living in Chadwell Heath. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial (Panel 25 to 27).
Research by Andrew Emeny, History Teacher at ICHS
ICHS school records and magazines
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Ilford County High School started life as the Park Higher Grade School in 1901 in Balfour Road, Ilford. It was renamed Ilford County High School (or initially County High School, Ilford) in the years after the school’s management was transferred from Ilford School Board to Essex Education Committee in 1904.